Reception House, Function Venue or Hotel

You should get at least three quotes and be very clear about what exactly is included in the package.

  • How many people can the room hold?
  • How many people will be seated at each table? (8 or 12)
  • How big is the dance floor?
  • What is the price per head? Obtain some sample menus and wine list
  • How much time is allowed for the reception? Can the time be extended if needed, and at what extra cost?
  • Is there a room where the bridal couple can change to going-away clothes?>
  • Is there somewhere safe to leave gifts?
  • Does the fee cover the room hire and the catering and waiting staff - or are these extras? what services are available? Many places will organise cake, music etc for you.
  • Is there adequate parking for guests?
  • What are the conditions of cancellation and what is the fee?

  • The parents of the bride and the groom will usually precede the bride and groom to the reception
  • The guests will be welcomed and offered drinks for about an hour before the bride and groom arrive
  • For a normal church service the reception should be seated within 2.5 hours of the start of the ceremony
  • For a nuptial mass church service the reception should be seated within 3 hours of the start of the ceremony
  • Guests will arrive at the reception about 1.5 - 2 hrs before the bride and groom
  • The pre-dinner drinks usually start 1-1.5 hours before the reception starts
  • Most guests will find this time reasonable especially if they are from out-of-town. It give them time to talk with everyone.

  • Make sure that guests who are from out-of-town have directions or send a local in their vehicle (It is very distressing when the grooms parents get lost for over an hour while driving to the reception)
  • Keep the manager informed about the number of guests. You will be expected to pay for all the food you have ordered so do a final count several days before the wedding
  • Be definite about your seating time with your photographer - you don't want the reception seating time delayed.

The chief factor in determining the style and venue of the reception is, regrettably, money. Before you do anything else, therefore, you should work out an operating budget for the event.

The church, reception and photographer, in that order, are the most urgent bookings to make.